Valuable Insights into the Industry
An Informative Press Meet on the Growth of the Apparel Sector in India
It was expected to be a very informative Conference for the Industry and, as always, the CMAI exceeded all expectations. The planning was perfect and the timing was just right. An informative Press Kit was given to everyone who entered the hall. On the dais were honourable members of the CMAI including, Mr Rahul Mehta, President, Mr Premal Udani, Chairman, Board of Trustees, Mr Babubhai Ayar, Hon. Gen. Secretary, Mr Ashok Shah, Chairman, Fair Sub-Committee and Mr Rohit Munjal, Jt. Chairman, Fair Sub-Committee. Other members of the CMAI, including Mr Mohan Sadhwani and Mr Pradeep Harlalka were seated in the audience.
Mr Rahul Mehta began by outlining the details of the 59th NGF. With approximately 737 brands participating, 697 stalls being set up, 30,000- 35,000 retailers expected to visit and 500 crores worth of orders waiting to be booked, this Fair promises to be unmatched in scale and size. He hoped that with MBOs facing difficult times, the NGF would definitely act as a major boost for sagging spirits.
Mr Mehta spoke about how the 50th year of the CMAI has been truly path-breaking with many initiatives and activities undertaken by the CMAI. The four major activities undertaken by the CMAI are as follows:
CMAI has been appointed as one of the lead implementing agencies under Component II of the Integrated Skill Development Scheme (ISDS) of the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, to impart
training to 35,000 trainees in the 12th Five Year Plan. For this purpose, 50 Centres will be set up across India. The initial focus of their activities will be in Baramati and Bhiwandi, which are major apparel hubs.
The CMAI, in association with the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), and Supported by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, is working on a new initiative ‘Size India,’ to carry out a scientific and systematic anthropometric study of the Indian population for the purpose of developing a sizing system for the Indian Domestic Apparel Industry. Under the ‘Size India’ project, CMAI plans to measure around one lakh Indians to establish a Standard Indian Sizing for Apparel.
The CMAI has launched 'CMAI’s Domestic Apparel Retail Index' to gauge the health of the Domestic Apparel Retail Market and provide concrete and credible information for assessing the performance of the industry, which can facilitate all the stakeholders in taking informed business decisions. Based on the data collected from 100 brands, from four distinct turnover segments, CMAI’s Domestic Apparel Retail Index is compiled and released to the Industry once every Quarter. The Government has been greatly appreciative of the CMAI’s efforts in this regard.
The CMAI, in association with the Development Commissioner for Handlooms (DC, Handlooms), and supported by the Ministry of Textiles, Govt. of India, launched an initiative, ‘Promotion of Handloom Products in Modern Retail’ to create a connect between handloom weavers and brands and retailers to promote handloom products, thus leading to increased sales through the domestic networks retailers and brands. CMAI facilitated the sponsoring of ‘The Handloom Textile Day’ at the Lakme Fashion Week S/R’14, where handloom collections were showcased by leading fashion designers Krishna Mehta and Anita Dongre. CMAI, in association with DC, Handlooms, also organised the Buyer Seller Meets in Delhi and Mumbai in April and May 2014, which were well attended by retailers and brands.
THE CMAI HAS BEEN APPOINTED AS ONE OF THE LEAD IMPLEMENTING AGENCIES TO IMPART TRAINING TO 35,000 TRAINEES AND 50 CENTRES WILL BE SET UP FOR THIS PURPOSE, ACROSS INDIA.
Mr Rahul Mehta emphasised that the market has slowed down slightly post the excise relief and that the uncertainty of the political situation before the elections had also affected the domestic garment industry. He was confident that the coming quarter and the festive season will bring considerable growth. Mr Mehta also said that the CMAI is perceived as an association focusing mainly on the domestic garment industry and even though they allow the AEPC to handle the export issues, they have a strong link with the export division.
THE EXPORT STORY
Mr Premal Udani, Chairman, Board of Trustees, took over from Mr Mehta on the subject of exports and said that the last financial year was the best in the last five years with a 15 per cent growth in exports which he attributed to stronger currency, stable raw material prices, buyers coming back to India due to compliance and conditions issues with Bangladesh and issues of very high costs with China. He cautioned though, that whether this trend will continue is anybody’s guess. He also said that given the overall scenario within the subcontinent, apparel exports should do well. The India EU Free Trade Agreement, which the current government is very keen on, will also boost exports.
An open question and answer session followed, post the address by Mr Mehta. In response to a particular question, Mr Mehta outlined the wish list of the CMAI, which included, continuation of the optional excise duty regime, keeping the apparel industry in the lowest merits lab of GST, reforms in labour laws and overhaul or removal of apparel from the Packaged Commodities Act, to name a few. On a question regarding Business Networking Sessions, Mr Munjal said that major retailers and large format stores are attending these sessions in the 59th NGF.
THE 59TH NGF WILL FURTHER RAISE THE BAR FOR ALL FUTURE FAIRS. NO OTHER FAIR EVEN COMES CLOSE TO THE NGF.
The CMAI also reiterated its positive stand towards FDI in Multi-Brand Retail and said that the fears that have been expressed regarding the same are completely unfounded.
Speaking to Apparel, on the issue of EOSS, Mr Mehta said, “As a brand owner, whose brand is available in all large format stores, I feel that there seems to be some realisation in the industry about the need to curb EOSS. They are planning to keep EOSS from July 3rd to August 4th or 5th only. ” He also added, “The 59th NGF will further raise the bar for all future Fairs. No other Fair in India comes close to the NGF. We are facing a unique problem this time around, as we seem to have covered virtually every square inch of space at the Bombay Exhibition Centre, so if this Fair becomes hugely successful and 200 more people want to come in, next time around, how do we accommodate them? Space is becoming a major constraint.”
A sumptuous lunch was served once the Press Conference was over.
All in all, this Conference was very successful and gave a very clear idea regarding the 59th NGF and highlighted the latest developments in the Apparel Industry.